Fierce Joy by Susie Caldwell RinehartFierce Joy, a memoir, is a #1 Amazon New Release. It is everything I know about bravery as a woman, a partner, a parent, a leader, an athlete, an activist, and a brainstem tumor survivor.

Reviewers say it’s fast-paced and beautiful and funny. I say, Don’t forget that it’s a love story!

It’s about showing up as our whole selves in life and at work and what gets in the way, namely perfectionism. It’s about love and death and living life to its fullest. It’s about choosing joy over fear and brave over perfect.

It’s about how our striving to do things the “right” way is making it impossible for us to be real or make real progress. It’s about how Fear has become a main character in our lives, and a dangerous obstacle to change. Joy is our birthright, but we have to be fierce to trust our true self rather than believe the know-it-all voice of Fear. 

This story is for you. It’s bold and beat-up and fierce and human, just like you and me.

In 2016, I found myself in the dark, raging against a diagnosis that meant I would die young and without a voice. I asked for your help. You got me through it. You gave me the courage to start writing about my experiences. You helped me decide how I wanted to move forwards in the dark: I choose joy over fear and brave over perfect.

Then Mango Press wanted to publish it. And that scared me. Until I realized that this could help someone get through the dark. When someone you know is in a hard place, I want you to give them this book. I want them to feel as loved and as held as you made me feel.

Fierce Joy: Choosing Brave over Perfect to Find my True Voice is a memoir about how the world runs on fear. But we don’t have to anymore. 

Order Fierce Joy Read an Excerpt



Fierce Joy by Susie Caldwell Rinehart
The publisher first sent me a series of white covers with muted watercolor accents and the title in black block letters. I sent out a Mayday to my friend Karen Sperry, a brilliant graphic designer in Boulder. She created a few designs that all gave me a feeling of bold joy. Then she deftly collaborated with the publisher. They came back to me with this gorgeous, bright cover.

To be honest, I’m not really sure what is happening with the exploding colors, but it doesn’t matter. It reminds me of Holi, the Hindu festival that celebrates the end of winter and the arrival of spring. So, I love this cover. It says to me, when we’re scared as sh**, and move forward anyway, life can be this bright and bursting with joy.

Note: It was important to me to keep the book under $20, to make it affordable, in case it can help more people. That meant I had to sacrifice making a hardcover edition. Fierce Joy will be available in paperback, audiobook, and ebook. 


Somewhere hidden in the pages of Fierce Joy is a description of my homemade Gratitude Goddess. She wears a red coat like a mountie, but has four arms like a Devi. She also holds the key to you winning some great prizes!

What does my Gratitude Goddess hold in her four hands? When you answer this question, you automatically enter to win one of my book launch goodies:

  • a Disco jumpsuit (because we all need one of these)
  • a signed original poem
  • a special appearance at your book group or any other group by me!

Answer the Question Here


  • Order five copies for summer-reading gifts (ages 16-106).
  • Order five copies for Christmas or Hanukkah gifts and be done shopping early!
  • Order five copies for your book club, your library, your teenage or grown-up kids, your coffee shop, your doctor’s office, your therapist’s office, and any waiting area that needs some joy.

If you order Fierce Joy today, it will mean so much to me and my hard-working publishing team. It says, I believe in writing and writers! It says, Keep going! It also raises the book’s rank on Amazon so more people can find it 😉

My Gift To You

Your support has already meant so much to me. This book would not exist without you. I created this free resource, A Short Guide to Being a Good Friend in a Crisis based on the unbelievable acts of kindness you showed me. If only more people in need had incredible friends like you! You gave me the love and courage to thrive and to keep writing.

This is our book.

We did it! Thank you from the bottom of my bursting, grateful heart.



Fierce Joy by Susie Caldwell Rinehart

“Breathtaking. Raw. Real. This is a memoir about what it means to have a voice. When Rinehart loses her ability to speak, she learns to listen to herself.”

Jen Pastiloff, author of On Being Human


Order Here!

Reclaim Your Life and Choose Joy 
Over Fear

On the surface, Susie Rinehart was a respected leader, proud mom, and champion ultrarunner, but underneath, she felt anxious and hollow. Then doctors discovered a tumor on her brainstem that threatened to take away her voice…and her life. In this moving story, Rinehart reveals with stunning wisdom and humor the radical inner work she did to heal. She learned to create light in dark times, to break free of the impossible standards placed on women in their lives and careers, and to embrace life in all its beautiful imperfection.

Fierce Joy is the story of one woman rising from rock bottom, but it is also the story of the transformation that is possible for us all when we stop chasing worthiness. We are born worthy.

In this astonishing memoir, you will learn how to:

  • Discover your clearest voice for the biggest impact
  • Face your deepest fears to amplify your value
  • Raise your daughters to choose brave over perfect
  • Become a warrior for healing through challenges
  • Slow way down and claim a life of joy


See What People are Saying

Fierce Joy by Susie Caldwell Rinehart

Sign up to enter to win a trip to NYC for the book launch, a signed copy of the book and more!

Fierce Raves for Fierce Joy

“Powerful, honest, riveting. What happens when a crisis forces you to give up perfectionism and self-worth-through-doing? Fierce Joy is a gift to any woman who longs to free herself of the shackles of ‘not-enough.’ ”

Rachel Simmons, author of Enough As She Is


“This stunning memoir wakes us up to the kind of happiness that is possible when we are brave enough to go after it. At the heart of this big, brilliant story is this: You are already enough. This book is wise and revolutionary. It changed my life.”

Christine Carter, author of Raising Happiness and The Sweet Spot

“Gorgeous, fast-paced, and full of wisdom on how to tap into our deepest stores of courage and strength. This life-affirming book by a champion ultrarunner will become a touchstone through the highs and lows of life. Rinehart’s joy for life is contagious!”

Katie Arnold, Leadville 100 champion, and author of Running Home

“Uplifting and loaded with practical wisdom on how to come out of a crisis with more, not less.”

Suleika JaouadNew York Times “Life, Interrupted” columnist

“This is a powerful story about a woman daring to fight for a life that is big, buoyant, and brilliant. She shows us that we can live lightly in dark times, if we dare make space for joy.”

Becca Anderson, author of The Buddha’s Guide to Gratitude

…Beautifully captures the spiritual freedom in coming to know that what she once viewed as vulnerable is actually the most powerful path. Susie’s story shows us how to transform pain into heart-centered instructions for living our best life.”

Bridgitte Jackson-Buckley, author of The Gift of Crisis

About Susie Caldwell Rinehart

Susie is a TEDx speaker, champion ultrarunner, a mom, and a brainstem tumor survivor. She began writing her blog from her hospital bed and quickly became an inspiration for those facing adversity. Her writing won her one of the highest prizes from the American Library Association. Susie now co-runs The Brave over Perfect Project, coaching organizations to proactively pursue risk and overcome cultural perfectionism. She is also a champion of closing the gender equity gap globally; a portion of the proceeds from the sale of Fierce Joy go to Maia: Her Infinite Impact. Susie lives with her husband and children in Boulder, CO.